November 9, 2012 - Orillia, ON
Lakehead University's 2011-2012 Report to the Community conveys how innovative people, impressive achievements and forward momentum have made the past year a shining success while promising even more for the future. The web-based Report also outlines the many benefits resulting from the various relationships and partnerships between Lakehead and the people and communities of Orillia, Barrie and the Simcoe County region.
"This report celebrates the enormous contribution Lakehead University makes to the economic, social and cultural life of the communities around us," says Cam Clark, chair of the Lakehead University Board of Governors. "Our Draft Strategic Plan for 2013-2018 will only strengthen our community outreach and economic development initiatives."
Orillia's Downtown Computers owner, Mariano Tulipano, highlights the reciprocal relationship between Orillia and Lakehead, as well as his duty as a member of the community and local business owner, saying, "We all buy from one another and support each other. If a large institution, like a university, becomes a successful member of our local economy, then we all benefit."
"The cost of post-secondary education has tripled since I went to university and it will likely be even more expensive by the time my kids go," Tulipano adds. "The opportunity for local kids to get a university degree while living right here at home could mean the difference between leaving and staying."
The research work of faculty member, Dr. Chris Murray, is featured in the Report to the Community, and Dr. Murray presents highlights in his comments at the event. The audience also hears from student, Debbie Balika of Barrie, who shares her experience at Lakehead -- from enroling as a member of the charter class, to now being one of the campus's first graduate students.
Lakehead University President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Brian Stevenson with Mariano Tulipano of Orillia and Lakehead graduate student Debbie Balika of Barrie, who each spoke to guests and community leaders at the University's Report to the Community event held at the Orillia campus on Friday, November 9, 2012.
Lakehead Orillia has experienced consistent enrolment growth since it opened six years ago and the University's overall undergraduate employment rates have remained above the provincial average since 2006.
"These benchmarks illustrate the quality education our University provides to our students, resulting in the excellent chance Lakehead graduates have of realizing their future goals," says Kim Fedderson, Dean & Vice-Provost, Orillia Campus.
Lakehead's important role in the local economy is also reflected in the monies injected directly into the City of Orillia from the University's operating expenditures ($20.6 million) and by students from outside the immediate area ($13.9 million) during fiscal 2011-2012.
The Orillia campus is currently developing a plan for the next five years (2013-2018) and Fedderson invites community members to get involved. Members of the community can learn more and provide input into the planning process by visiting the Orillia Campus Plan 2013-2018 website (orillia.lakeheadu.ca/campus-plan).
"We invite your participation in shaping the future growth of the Orillia campus," says Fedderson. "The Orillia campus has evolved dramatically, and it is now time for a renewed focus on the campus and its role in the region."
"It's critical for a community to understand how the importance of the relationship between Lakehead, Orillia, Barrie and the Simcoe County region stimulates the economy of our communities through education and research," says Lakehead President and Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Brian Stevenson. "I am humbled by the level of community support for this institution and proud of the responsibility Lakehead has to our community."
Guests enjoy lunch, prepared and served by Lakehead Orillia's food service provider, Madison County Food & Beverage Co., in the University Avenue campus cafeteria.
The Report to the Community consists of an innovative website (www.report.lakeheadu.ca) and brochure that celebrate Lakehead's accomplishments during Dr. Stevenson's second year as President and Vice-Chancellor.
Lakehead's Report to the Community website documents the success of its students, faculty, alumni and staff. In keeping with its accountability to its stakeholders, the online site features links to audited financial statements, in addition to information about the University's strategic directions, honours and awards, and performance indicators such as rates of enrolment, graduation and employment.
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Lakehead is a comprehensive university with a reputation for a multidisciplinary teaching approach that emphasizes collaborative learning and independent critical thinking. More than 8,700 students and 1,850 faculty and staff learn and work at campuses located in Orillia, and Thunder Bay, Ontario, which is home to the west campus of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine. Lakehead University promotes innovative research that supports local and regional socio-economic needs. In Orillia, development continues on building a campus that meets Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) standards. For more information about Lakehead University, visit www.lakeheadu.ca.